Science
August is Metals Month
Continuous casting copper disc (99.95% pure), macro etched, ∅ ≈83 mm, by Heinrich Pniok.

Well, what’s left of August is Metals Month, I should say. A broad subject, to be sure, and with only a couple of weeks to explore it, I want to be fairly strict about focusing on interesting and unusual metals themselves (and processes for working with them) rather than more general “cool stuff made from metal.”  Even limiting the scope this way, our archives are rich with relevant content, and my first priority is to round up the best of it.  Look for that tomorrow, and in the meantime, as always, if you have suggestions for subjects you’d like us to cover, under this banner, please let us know below.

4 thoughts on “August is Metals Month

  1. Tin pest is my fave weirdo metal phenom. Tin has a few different allotropes, or crystal configurations (like many metals and alloys) but is one of the few which undergoes a crystalline phase transition at near room temperature (actually in the cold). Tin at room temp is ductile and soft, while tin in its low-temperature crystal configuration is brittle, and less dense. The increase in size (with the change in density) combined with the increased embrittlement of the metal at low temperatures makes the metal literally crumble itself apart!! There are a couple videos of this on youtube:

    http://youtu.be/sXB83Heh3_c

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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